Volume 1, Issue 6 | May 2021
HeartMind e-News: Teach, Learn, Lead
A monthly publication dedicated to trauma-informed, compassionate school practices that help educators, students, and families move toward a sense of wholeness and well-being
"You are valued, and you belong!"
Painted hands cradle a heart – a symbolic take on caring for the heart at the center of the community.

As children and youth return to school, restoring a sense of normalcy will be key. But where to start first? Sometimes tending to the needs of individuals, yourself, and your class as a whole can feel time intensive—it can feel like there are so many priorities drawing you in. One way to attend to the needs of yourself, your colleagues, and your students, is to be intentional about leading from your heart.
There is no “golden path” to go about this, but holding the intention, taking a deep breath, and enacting the 7 community building blocks shared in our featured article today will help you and your school ecosystem feel joy and support as you get back into the swing of being in school.

This month, Melissa Patschke, director of CEI’s Coalition for the Future of Education returns, sharing 7 community building blocks—ground rules for building community, which, as you practice them, are sure to nurture your heart and the hearts around you.
Join Our HeartMind Adventure!
Our HeartMind Adventure is a series of practical exercises designed to give you, your colleagues, and your students opportunities to deepen understanding and further the practice of our 5Cs:

In April, we took you on a HeartMind Adventure asking you to become more aware of your courage. This month's HeartMind Adventure connects our 5Cs to communityTo begin, review any notes you have from last month and begin this month's adventure by answering a few basic questions. Learn more.
Each edition of HeartMind e-News offers a research-based perspective to help you understand more about what can be done to further trauma-informed, compassionate school practices that help educators, students, and families move toward a sense of wholeness and well-being.
Just starting our HeartMind Adventure?

Review our steps on this self-awareness journey:

Featured Article
Our HeartMind e-News connects the relationship of heart centered learning and mindfulness to current research and circumstances. Our goal is to provide our readers with concrete opportunities to further implementation of heart centered practices in their schools and districts. These opportunities will include suggestions for reflection, journaling, dialoguing, and compassionate classroom activities. These exercises often start with adults, working on our own knowledge and skills, before we turn to students.
A Heart Centered Community: “You are valued, and you belong!”
Melissa Patschke, Director of CEI's Coalition for the Future of Education

“We can do this. We are educators. We’re born to make a difference.”
~ Rita Pearson
Educators are instructional experts, system managers, caretakers, advisors, disciplinarians, supervisors, consultants, safety specialists, and motivators. Sometimes it is hard to prioritize—which crisis do we handle first? How do we teach all students and find time for the one student who needs our personal attention? Each engagement is an opportunity to truly see the other person. All interactions have the potential to say, “You are valued, and you belong.”

Leading a heart centered system means taking care of people. Every time you interact with someone in the school community, it matters (Murray, 2019). Leading from the heart requires that we see each individual as a valuable human being. It’s finding strengths and building human capacity in each person. 

As children and youth return to school, restoring a sense of community will be key. We have all missed our connections with each other. Children have missed their friends, and they have missed the personal interactions with their teachers. Feeling connected makes a critical difference for our self-esteem, our sense of well-being, and for our sense of security and safety (Mason et al., 2021). However, making individual connections with each student will take time and intentionality. Read more.
Upcoming Events and Announcements
Practical tips to guide your school/district through trauma and stress as they seek to advance equity and justice.

Join our research-based webinars to learn about experiencing joy and healing through mindful self-care.
Tuesday, June 8, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT
Looking for an engaging summer program for youth? Award-winning astronomer Kevin Manning, a consultant to NASA, will showcase some of the available summer camp options through his Look Up to the Stars program. Join us and view some breathtaking images, video-clips, and fun hands-on activities for an unforgettable cosmic journey.
Learn about the Coalition for the Future of Education and read and sign-on to our letter to the Biden Administration and Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona requesting support for actions that will address our vision for the future of education.
Our Vision

We envision a world that leans in with heart and compassion for self, others, and our environment, where people and institutions are dedicated to expanding conscious acts of caring, building resiliency, and advancing learning, equity, and justice.

We envision safe and equitable schools with education that serves as the foundation for our humanity; it is flexible and empowering. There is room for adventure, students drive their own learning, learning and self-understanding are celebrated, and communities support their individual and collective self-care, and well-being.
Visioning Onward: A Guide for All Schools
Use our step-by-step guide to define your vision—and make it reality—as a part of your school's reopening plan

Schools right now have the opportunity to undertake significant steps to improve education and the lives of all students and faculty. Such changes will take some thought, research, and determination. Visioning Onward will provide a template to help you use American Rescue funds wisely.

Let this inspirational resource be your guide. By following its one-of-a-kind iterative visioning process, you’ll sharpen your vision into a road map for transformative change—tailored to the needs of your learning community, alleviating trauma, and strengthening resiliency and academic learning.
Turn vision into reality, possibilities into plans, and create an environment that strengthens engagement, provides safe and nurturing learning opportunities, and produces students with the skills, knowledge, and disposition to be successful in life.